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After quietly sitting in for most of the 156-mile race, CSC’s Matti Breschel went boldly to the front of the Philadelphia International Championship when it mattered most — coming across the finish line. The young Danish rider took the sprint win on Benjamin Franklin Parkway ahead of Kirk O’Bee (Health Net-Maxxis) and three-time Philly winner Fred Rodriguez (Rock Racing).
With only a six-man squad — and without 2007 Philadelphia winner J.J. Haedo — CSC opted to play its cards cautiously. A five-man breakaway stayed clear, per race tradition, for most of the race. CSC lent a single rider to the chase. After that was caught, smaller moves came and went, but the Danish squad waited patiently.
“It’s not really my style to wait the whole day, but I knew that in the heat and with the distance I had to take it easy,” Breschel said. “I tried a couple of times on The Wall, but it didn’t work out. When it seemed clear it would come down to a sprint, I took it easy and tried to prepare.”
“I didn’t have a good position that last time over Lemon Hill. I struggled to come back and get good position before the roundabout. I got a good position on the right side and could take it easy for a few meters. Then I tried a long sprint.”
The beginning of a long, hot day
After carefully loading up with cold drinks and ice packs, the 190 men set off on what was to be the longest-ever Philly at six hours and 14 minutes in record-breaking heat. The air hit 96 degrees, the pavement 120 degrees, and many riders simply boiled over. Eighty-one riders finished.
Pre-race favorite Daniele Bennati pulled out on the second lap, complaining of tendonitis in his left Achilles. The Liquigas sprinter had flown over from the Giro d’Italia, where he won two stage, but also picked up the tendon issue.
“He did surprisingly well in the final time trial into Milan anyway,” said Rory Mason, Cannondale’s team liaison. “But, he was forced to skip a criterium in Rome on Wednesday. He flew over on Thursday. We took him for a tour of the Cannondale factory in Bedford. He’s been taking it easy. He just wanted to give it a go this morning to see how he was feeling, because the course suits him and he’s got great condition. Unfortunately he said his shoes were pinching his Achilles. It was causing him a lot of pain. With a long day like this, he just decided that it wasn’t going to happen. He doesn’t want to risk anything coming into the Tour. He’s going to go home and cure the Achilles.”
The requisite long Philly breakaway went clear early, initiated by Bissell’s Ted King coming down from The Manayunk Wall.
“Coming down over the other side, I thought we were still a big group, but I heard somebody say on the radio that we were a group of 35 so I gave it a little stick,” King said. “I ended up doing the better part of a lap solo. Finally I got word from [team director] Glen [Mitchell] through the radio to sit up, there was a group of six coming across.”
That group contained Daniel Ramsey (Time), Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing), Davide Frattini (Colavita-Sutter Home), Brad White (Successful Living), Richard Geng (Rite Aid) and Benjamin Kneller (Jittery Joe’s). The latter two lost contact, but the remaining five worked together well to establish a maximum lead of about nine minutes.
“It was a good group,” King said. “We worked together for the better part of four hours. We were rotating well once we were down to five. But I was suffering. You could tell some of the other guys were, too.”
Hamilton, racing with a hand injury sustained at the Tour of Colombia, was hoping to work for teammate and Reading winner Oscar Sevilla.
“I was hoping to make it stick long enough and then Oscar could come across and I could give it everything for him,” Hamilton said.
Four hours and 100 miles into the race, Magnus Bäckstedt (Slipstream-Chipotle) forced himself clear of the peloton in pursuit of the break. He made contact, but the move was doomed. The pack swallowed them going over the crest of The Wall.
“When Magnus came across, he looked super strong,” King said. “But the last time we hit the wall, there were three guys going for the KOM, and the rest of us were like, see ya.”
Frattini was one of the breakaway riders driving it up The Wall. Colavita’s initial plan had been for him to ride for Alejandro Borrajo and Sebastian Haedo — J.J.’s younger brother and a strong sprinter in his own right — but Haedo went down in a crash. Frattini ended up with the race’s King of the Mountains title for his efforts.
The final acts
Coming off the backside of The Wall, small groups battled to get clear. Eventually a threesome made something stick — Team Type 1’s Glen Chadwick, Symmetrics’ Svein Tuft and Tecos’ Francisco Matamoros fell into a smooth rotation.
Behind, High Road drove the peloton. As the trio was caught, Tuft gave it one last dig, temporarily postponing his fate.
After 10 big laps out to Manayunk and back, the race entered three laps of the smaller circuit, which included Lemon Hill.
Jeff Louder of BMC had a go with two small laps to go, and about 10 riders bridged up.
When that was caught, Chris Jones (Team Type 1) and Rory Sutherland (Health Net) went on Lemon Hill with 1.5 laps to go. Coming through the bell lap, Jones and Sutherland, the NRC points leader, held onto a 10-second gap over the field. They were caught at the base of Lemon Hill.
There, Slipstream’s Mike Friedman put in an effort, which was marked by three others.
“None of the other guys wanted to pull through,” Friedman said. “I could have gone, but then they probably would have sat on. Then we would have gotten caught and I wouldn’t be able to sprint. So I went back [to the field] and tried to recover for the sprint.”
Toyota-United’s Ivan Stevic attacked. Nothing doing. Then High Road’s Vincente Reynes Mimo went alone. Again nothing.
After more than six hours of racing, there were about 60 men together, with 1000 meters and one big roundabout remaining.
“It’s a hard race to calculate right there at the finish,” Rodriguez said. “Health Net had a good lead-out going but they bogged down with 200 meters to go. Which is very understandable as there was a really big headwind. O’Bee and I went, then Breschel came from behind and just slingshotted off of us.”
Breschel, the 2007 Tour of Ireland points winner, called Philadelphia his biggest win yet. At just 23, it certainly won’t be his last.
Philadelphia International Championship
1. Matti Breschel, Team CSC, 156mi in 6:14:47 (24.97 Mph)
2. Kirk O’Bee, Health Net-Maxxis, s.t.
3. Fred Rodriguez, Rock Racing, s.t.
4. Bernhard Eisel, Team High Road, s.t.
5. Alex Candelario, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, s.t.
6. Tyler Farrar, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30, s.t.
7. Moises Aldape, Team Type 1, s.t.
8. Dominique Rollin, Toyota-United, s.t.
9. Yosvany Falcon, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife, s.t.
10. Ciaran Power, Pezula Racing, s.t.
11. Michael Sayers, BMC Racing, s.t.
12. Miguel Martinez, Amore & Vita-Mcdonalds, s.t.
13. Jacob Erker, Symmetrics, s.t.
14. Hagen Boasson, Edval Team High Road, s.t.
15. Ben Brooks, Team Type 1, s.t.
16. Michael Friedman, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30, s.t.
17. Antonio Cruz, BMC Racing, s.t.
18. Ricardo Escuela, Team Successfulliving, s.t.
19. Eric Baumann, Team Sparkasse, s.t.
20. Cody Stevenson, Jittery Joe’s, s.t.
21. Yuri Metlushenko, Amore & Vita-Mcdonalds, s.t.
22. Oscar Sevilla, Rock Racing, s.t.
23. Alejandro Borrajo, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.
24. Philipp Mamos, Team Sparkasse, s.t.
25. Sebastian Frey , Team Sparkasse, s.t.
26. John Fredy Parra, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife, s.t.
27. Danilo Wyss, BMC Racing, s.t.
28. Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, s.t.
29. Francois Parisien, Team Race Pro, s.t.
30. Taylor Tolleson, BMC Racing, s.t.
31. Martijn Maaskant, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30, s.t.
32. Charles Dionne, Team Successfulliving, s.t.
33. Darren Lill, BMC Racing, s.t.
34. Valeriy Kobzarenko, Team Type 1, s.t.
35. Michael Grabinger, Team Successfulliving, s.t.
36. Richard England, Bissell, s.t.
37. Eric Wohlberg, Symmetrics, s.t.
38. Jonn Murphy, Health Net-Maxxis, s.t.
39. Andrea Schillinger, Team Sparkasse, s.t.
40. Christopher Wherry, Toyota-United, s.t.
41. Andrew Guptill, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.
42. Francisco Matamoros, Tecos-Trek, s.t.
43. Gregorio Ladino, Tecos-Trek, s.t.
44. Matthew Rice, Jelly Belly, s.t.
45. Mimo Reynes, Vincent Team High Road, s.t.
46. Caleb Manion, Toyota-United, s.t.
47. Tyler Wren, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.
48. Claudio Corioni, Liquigas, s.t.
49. John Devine, Team High Road, s.t.
50. Roger Hammond, Team High Road, s.t.
51. David O’Loughlin, Pezula Racing, s.t.
52. William Frischkorn, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30, s.t.
53. Cameron Jennings, Pezula Racing, s.t.
54. Kasper Klostergaard, Team CSC, s.t.
55. Aaron Olson, Bissell, s.t.
56. Luis Macias, Tecos-Trek, s.t.
57. Glen Chadwick, Team Type 1, s.t.
58. Justin Spinelli, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, s.t.
59. Nicholas Reistad, Jelly Belly, at 0:15
60. J Brian ensen, Team Successfulliving, at 0:34
61. Tyler Hamilton, Rock Racing, s.t.
62. Christian Meier, Symmetrics, s.t.
63. Dan Bowman, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, s.t.
64. Frank Pipp, Health Net-Maxxis, s.t.
65. Ryan Roth, Team Race Pro, s.t.
66. Andrew Bajadali, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, s.t.
67. Ivan Stevic, Toyota-United, at 0:54
68. Enrico Franzoi, Liquigas, at 1:01
69. Darren Lapthorne, Team Sparkasse, at 1:27
70. Christopher Jones, Team Type 1, at 1:50
71. Svein Tuft, Symmetrics, at 2:04
72. Rory Sutherland, Health Net-Maxxis, at 2:56
73. Davide Frattini, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.
74. Predrag Prokic, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife, s.t.
75. Jonny Clarke, Toyota-United, s.t.
76. Jeff Louder, BMC Racing, at 3:12
77. Doug Ollerenshaw, Rock Racing, at 3:15
78. Thaddeus Dulin, DLP Racing 6:18:37 @ 3:50
79. Michael Stevenson, Amore & Vita-Mcdonalds, at 6:03
80. Andrew Talansky, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife, at 14:41
81. David Guttenplan, Time, s.t.
DNF: Lasse Bochman, Team CSC
DNF: Andr Steensen, Team CSC
DNF: Matthew Goss, Team CSC
DNF: Jason McCartney, Team CSC
DNF: Greg Henderson, Team High Road
DNF: Servais Knaven, Team High Road
DNF: Daniele Bennati, Liquigas
DNF: Maciej Bodnar, Liquigas
DNF: Alberto Curtolo, Liquigas
DNF: Ivan Santaromita, Liquigas
DNF: Martin Kohler, BMC Racing
DNF: Jackson Stewart, BMC Racing
DNF: Magnus Backstedt, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30
DNF: Steven Cozza, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30
DNF: Jason Donald, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30
DNF: Blake Caldwell, Slipstream-Chipotle-H30
DNF: C Phil ortes, Amore & Vita-Mcdonalds
DNF: Graziano Gasparre, Amore & Vita-Mcdonalds
DNF: Sren Nissen, Amore & Vita-Mcdonalds
DNF: Ben Jacques-Maynes, Bissell
DNF: Garrett Peltonen, Bissell
DNF: Scott Zwizanski, Bissell
DNF: Jeremy Vennell, Bissell
DNF: Edward King, Bissell
DNF: Joao Correia, Bissell
DNF: Anibal Borrajo, Colavita-Sutter Home
DNF: Lucas Haedo, Colavita-Sutter Home
DNF: Luis Romero, Amaran Colavita-Sutter Home
DNF: Kyle Wamsley, Colavita-Sutter Home
DNF: Spencer Beamer, DLP Racing
DNF: Owen Nielsen, DLP Racing
DNF: Charles Pendry, DLP Racing
DNF: Tommy Nankervis, DLP Racing
DNF: Scott Jackson, DLP Racing
DNF: Joseph Coddington, DLP Racing
DNF: Christopher Judy, DLP Racing
DNF: Tim Johnson, Health Net-Maxxis
DNF: Phil Zajicek, Health Net-Maxxis
DNF: Matt Crane, Health Net-Maxxis
DNF: Kyle Gritters, Health Net-Maxxis
DNF: Nicholas Sanderson, Jelly Belly
DNF: Aaron Tuckerman, Jelly Belly
DNF: Michael Lange, Jelly Belly
DNF: Jeremy Powers, Jelly Belly
DNF: Bernard Van Ulden, Jelly Belly
DNF: Benjamin Kneller, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Neil Shirley, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Evan Elken, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Jonathan Cantwell, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Matt Shriver, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Chad Hartley, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Ryan Sullivan, Jittery Joe’s
DNF: Martin Gilbert, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast
DNF: Kevin Lacombe, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast
DNF: Reid Mumford, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast
DNF: Jonathan Sundt, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast
DNF: Morgan Fox, Pezula Racing
DNF: Martyn Irvine, Pezula Racing
DNF: William Connolly, Pezula Racing
DNF: Clayton Barrows, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: William Elliston, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Jonathan Erdelyi, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Richard Geng, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Robbie King, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Stephen Kincaid, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Bobby Lea, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Jake Rytlewski, Rite Aid-Shebe
DNF: Rahsaan Bahati, Rock Racing
DNF: Michael Creed, Rock Racing
DNF: Victor Pena, Hugo Rock Racing
DNF: Jeremiah Wiscovitch, Rock Racing
DNF: Zachary Bell, Symmetrics
DNF: Andrew Randell, Symmetrics
DNF: Andrew Pinfold, Symmetrics
DNF: Cameron Evans, Symmetrics
DNF: Mark Walters, Team Race Pro
DNF: Dan Timmerman, Team Race Pro
DNF: Kevin Miller, Buck Team Race Pro
DNF: Dustin Macburnie, Team Race Pro
DNF: Mark Batty, Team Race Pro
DNF: Eric Robertson, Team Race Pro
DNF: Lars Wackernagel, Team Sparkasse
DNF: Tilo Schler, Team Sparkasse
DNF: Curtis Gunn, Team Successfulliving
DNF: Alessandro Bazzana, Team Successfulliving
DNF: Brad White, Team Successfulliving
DNF: Christia Valenzuela, Team Successfulliving
DNF: Fabio Calabria, Team Type 1
DNF: Joe Eldridge, Team Type 1
DNF: Matt Wilson, Team Type 1
DNF: Bernardo Colex, Tecos-Trek
DNF: Omar Cervantes, Tecos-Trek
DNF: Lui Guitierrez, Tecos-Trek
DNF: Carlos Oyarzun, Tecos-Trek
DNF: Torres Ramos, Floren Tecos-Trek
DNF: Andy Baker, Time
DNF: Thomas Soladay, Time
DNF: Michael Stoop, Time
DNF: Jackie Simes, Time
DNF: Daniel Ramsay, Time
DNF: Adam Myerson, Time
DNF: Nick Frey, Time
DNF: Bobby Sweeting, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife
DNF: Mark Hekman, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife
DNF: Frank Travieso, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife
DNF: Daniel Vaillancourt, Toshiba-Santo-Herbalife
DNF: Heath Blackgrove, Toyota-United
DNF: Ivan Dominguez, Toyota-United
DNF: Hendricus Vogels, Toyota-United